It seems a malicious message is making the rounds on the PlayStation Network. Reddit reports suggest PS4 owners are receiving a message that contains indecipherable characters that are causing their console to stop functioning, and requiring a factory reset to regain functionality.
According to some users, players on in multiplayer games may send the offending message as a means of taking down an opposing team, and the best remedy may be to change your messaging settings to private so that only trusted friends can send you a message.
Users are also being warned that the console may crash not only when you open the message but also if you receive the notification. One possible solution may be to access your messages via the mobile app and delete the offending message, though some users have found that to also be futile.
This is not the first time that such an exploit has been used to crash a gadget. The mechanism of the attack seems to rely on deficiencies in the text processing ability of code; past reports indicate similar exploits by sending an SMS to crash a phone. There's also, of course, the famous incident from earlier this year when a Telugu character would crash various apps on the iPhone.
Update: An earlier version of this article more ambiguously stated the message was causing consoles to be bricked. It has now been amended to clarify that this was a 'soft brick', and that the device is still recoverable via a factory reset.
Update: Some users have reported that alongside deleting the message from either the web or the mobile app, accessing the PS4 in safe mode and rebuilding the database may also help. Sony has also confirmed it's aware of the problem, and is working on a system update with a fix.